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Colloquium Announcement on Mar. 26, 2018
W-Name Admin (IP: *.152.74.116) W-Date 2018-03-13 10:12 Hit 314

Title: Mathematical Thinking and Technical Writing

Speaker : Prof. Tae-Woong Yoon (School of Electrical Engineering, Korea University)

Date: Mar. 26 (Mon.), 2018

Time: 05:00 PM 

Location: Woo Jung Information & Communication bldg., Room 601

Hosted by Dept. of Brain & Cognitive Engineering, Korea University / Institute of Brain and Cognitive Engineering, Korea University / BK21+ Global Leader Development Division in Brain Engineering, Korea University / Interdisciplinary Major in Brain and Cognitive Science


Have you heard about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.” What does this horrible sentence mean? The problem is that ‘being all right’ could mean two different things, though one seems more likely than the other. Is everyday language always subject to misunderstanding without taking the context into account? If that is the case, how can you minimize the possibility of such misunderstanding? What about ‘vagueness’? Yoon Sungbin, who won the gold medal in men’s skeleton at Pyeongchang, is surely a young man; however, can you define the set of young people? Can Yoon Tae-Woong belong to the set if that exists? (You do not have to be honest.) Suppose that someone says “Yoon has a dry sense of humor”. Then this sentence is ‘ambiguous’ as you do not know which Yoon is being mentioned.


The question of text vs context and the problem with vagueness and ambiguity are often inevitable in the languages you speak and write. There is one exception, though. That is mathematics: the language for reason as well as for science. Of course, you will not always be able to speak or write mathematics in your daily communication. However you can view mathematics as the limit of your usual language whether it is Korean or English, the very notion of limit that you use in mathematics.


The ABC of technical writing is ABC, which stands for Accuracy, Brevity, and Clarity. The ABC, whether it is the subject or the complement, can be better achieved by mathematical thinking, and this is what I am going to talk about.

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